Visual Art

Visual Arts (Higher and Standard Level)

This course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and work with a minimum of three different media. Students are encouraged to produce a body of resolved works and to demonstrate a deep consideration of how their resolved works communicate with a potential viewer. Students learn to become informed and critical observers of visual culture. The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Grade 11

Grade 11 Units of Study

Unit 1: Culture and Place

This initial unit is aimed to introduce the DP visual arts course to the students through visual journal work and how to document techniques and processes. The students will participate in workshops based in 2-dimensional media, and create their first studio piece based on the theme of who they are and the place they live. With a focus on the PP, the students will culminate the unit with the creation of their first studio piece and digital documentation of a PP draft.

TOK Connections: How can the subjective viewpoint of an individual contribute to knowledge in the arts?

External Assessment:

Process Portfolio 1 (40%)

Internal Assessment:

Studio Assessment 1: IA (Exhibition Criteria) (40%) Ongoing Visual Journal and sketchbook assessment (formative)

Unit 2: Challenging Authenticity

This unit is designed to provoke deeper level understanding of artistic intentions and how artists create art, and for what purpose. As students are becoming more familiar with the course, students will explore what it means to create an intention and direct the viewer with works of visual art. Studio 2 will be centred around digital media, and the CS will be introduced.

TOK Connections: What moral responsibilities do artists have?

External Assessment:

Process Portfolio 2 (40%)

Comparative Study 1 (20%)

Internal Assessment:

Studio Piece 2 (40%) Ongoing Visual Journal and sketchbook assessment (formative)

Unit 3: Alternate Forms

This unit is designed to expand the student’s understanding and knowledge or what art can be, and the variety of materials used to create art. With a focus on the PP, the students are encouraged to experiment with different media and new technologies with a 3 dimensional outcome. This is the first unit in which the students will create work with a personal concept and intention.

TOK Connections: Do the arts have a social function?

External Assessment:

Process Portfolio 3 (40%)

Internal Assessment:

Studio Piece 3 (40%) Ongoing Visual Journal and sketchbook assessment (formative)

Unit 4: Out of the Comfort Zones

This unit is designed to challenge the media experimentation of the visual arts students and seek out alternatives to familiar or comfortable mediums they have worked in previously. With an emphasis on 2 dimensional media, students will experiment with different ways or drawing and using tools for mark making, working large format and creating a personal concept studio in response.

TOK Connections:To what extent does imagination play a special role in the arts?

External Assessment:

Comparative Study 2 (20%)

Internal Assessment:

Studio Assessment 1: Body of Work (40%) Ongoing Visual Journal and sketchbook assessment (formative)

Unit 5: Personal Concepts

This unit is designed to elaborate on the student's own personal concepts for their studio piece and begin a more independent course of art-making for each student. Students will continue to be guided through the research, experimentation and art-making process but the media is open to develop with the student’s own intentions as a focus. The focus being Exhibition and studio work coherence, students will undertake their 2nd studio assessment of their work so far.

TOK Connections: To what extent is artistic knowledge something which cannot be expressed in any other way?

External Assessment:

Process Portfolio 4: First full draft (40%)

Internal Assessment:

Studio Pieces 5-7: SL Students create up to studio 5. (40%) Studio Assessment 2: Body of Work (40%)

Ongoing Visual Journal and sketchbook assessment (formative)

Unit 6: Comparing, Contrasting, Connecting (into Grade 12 for SL Students)

This unit is designed to refine and deepen the student’s critical analysis and investigation for other artists. With a focus on the CS, students will work on their first full draft of the CS and continue with their studio work and individual concepts.

TOK Connections: Are ways of knowing employed in radically different ways in the arts than in other areas of knowledge?

External Assessment:

Comparative Study 3: First full draft (20%) Process Portfolio 5 (40%)

Internal Assessment:

Studio Piece 8 (HL) Studio piece 6 (SL): Exhibition Criteria (40%) Ongoing Formative Assessment of Process Portfolio and Visual Arts Journal

Grade 12

All grade 10 courses are 1 credit.

Grade 12 Units of Study

External Assessment:

Final Essay (1600 words)

Internal Assessment:

Blog posts and responses

Practice Full Length Essay

Final Essay Draft

IB Examination

Oral Presentation: Analysis of a Knowledge Question in the context of a real-life situation.

Students complete and oral presentation in either year 1 or year 2 of the course to be submitted as part of their final marks for TOK.

Final Essay: Analysis of a Knowledge Questions using real-life situations

Students write an essay on one of six questions prescribed by the IBO and released during the first semester of year 2 of the course.

Overall Assessment Breakdown:

Oral Presentation: 40%

Essay: 60%


Student work is assessed and graded according to the IBO’s task-specific assessment criteria. Internal tasks are assessed and graded according to the Internal TOK criteria which directly parallel the IBOs task-specific assessment criteria but are phrased in a way that allows them to be used for a wider range of tasks. Each student has access to these criteria and is expected to use them as a learning tool.